Cop caught berating Uber driver in xenophobic rant is NYPD detective, police sources say
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The angry lawman who was caught on camera belittling an Uber driver during a bias-fueled tirade in the West Village is an NYPD detective assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, police sources confirmed Tuesday.
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the video, which shows Det. Patrick Cherry lambasting the Uber driver during a traffic stop and mocking his broken English.
“I don't know where you're coming from, where you think you're appropriate in doing that; that's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?” Cherry, who is white, barked at the driver after pulling him over in an unmarked car with flashing lights, according to video of the encounter.
The roadside rage erupted after the detective tried to park the unmarked car without using his blinker, and the Uber driver went around him and gestured to him to use his signal, according to Sanjay Seth, a passenger in the Uber car who posted the video clip.
The car Cherry drives in the video does not belong to the NYPD, according to a police source.
The angry cop yelling at an Uber driver and mocking him, is NYPD Detective Patrick Cherry, police sources said.
Moments before slamming the car door and storming away, the hot-headed Cherry, who is based out of Federal Plaza in Manhattan, shouted at the driver: “I don't know what f---ing planet you're on right now!”
The detective repeatedly mocked the mild-mannered driver's accent and pronunciation of English words, cursing at him. The driver responded calmly, saying “okay” during one point in Cherry's tirade, the video shows. The driver's ethnicity was not immediately clear.
The driver filed a complaint with police, which prompted the NYPD to assign the case to the Internal Affairs Bureau.
“IAB will look at the circumstances and determine if a duty status change is required," a high-ranking police source said, referring to the process that will be followed to determine if Cherry should be punished.
The incident will be handed over to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, cop sources said, because it was determined that Cherry committed no other wrongdoing besides being discourteous, the sources said.
Seth wrote on the video's YouTube page that the incident happened in the West Village.
Cherry was on his way to work after visiting Detective Harry Hill at NYU Langone Medical Center when the interaction occurred, a police source said. Hill is in critical condition after going into cardiac arrest during a procedure on his elbow on Thursday, the source said.
Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, said Hill's medical condition has led emotions to run high on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a unit that combines NYPD and federal anti-terror investigators.
"The past five days have been emotionally draining for the members of the JTTF dealing with their fellow detective's health," Palladino said. "Despite what some people think, cops have feelings, too."
An Uber spokesman, Matt Wing, confirmed the driver filed a complaint, but said he was not issued a ticket. Wing declined to name the driver.
Two passengers in the backseat assured the Uber driver that he did nothing wrong, and said the detective who pulled him over was on a "power trip."
According to the video, during the brief moments when Cherry backed off his harangue, Seth and a fellow passenger assured the driver he did nothing wrong.
"It's not your fault; this guy's just a d--k," one of passengers says on the video, adding that the detective was on a "power trip."
The shell-shocked driver kept offering apologies, but Cherry did not stop browbeating him.
"You don't let me f---ing finish! Stop interrupting me!" Cherry tells him.
At the end of the three-minute tirade, the man tells the driver the only reason he's not getting arrested is because he's "not important enough."
Seth posted the video to his Facebook page Monday afternoon, identifying the driver as "Humayun" and titling the clip, "Police Abuse of Uber Driver in New York City."
"Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York," Seth wrote. "The unending rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough — but the officer's remarks at the end really took it to another level."